Contribution by various parties to the 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Hanoi, Vietnam:
Dear comrades in arms,
Let me greet all participants of the 18th IMCWP on behalf of Russian Communist Workers’ Party. Let me express our special greetings to the host of the meeting, to the glorious Communist Party of Vietnam.
- Our party originates from CPSU. It was found by those communists that overtly resisted Gorbachev and his course in CPSU. First of all we struggled against the movement towards market economy, i.e. towards Capitalism. At the XXVIII Congress of CPSU (1990) in the statement of minority we warned both the party and the people that “the transition to market as a universal system including the markets of capital and labour would mean inevitable sliding down to the growth of capitalist relations. A forced treatment of Socialism with Capitalism carried out contrary to objective processes would not bring increase of production and the improvement of the level of life, but is likely to cause their inevitable fall, to provoke a wide social protest, would lead to heavy suffering of the people…
The party cannot perform Perestroika that has led to serious deterioration of the people’s lives. As to regards Communist party – it is not going to survive this shock and there will be left nobody to defend the goals of the movement”.
This took place under conditions when both Gorbachev and the majority of other representatives of the political elite paid lip service to the ideas of Communism , called themselves Marxists, camouflaged their line of actions by the references to restoration of Lenin’s rules of party life, constructed Socialism with human face. I.e. we know (I can claim that we know this best of all) how all this happened and why CPSU (of Gorbachev) crashed and why USSR was destroyed.
If we wanted to answer very briefly to the question why Soviet power and CPSU were defeated, we would answer as follows: because the power wasn’t Soviet any longer and the party wasn’t communist.
- 2. In 2017 there will be centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution . We’ve all been busy reflecting how to mark this date and how to celebrate it. Sure that we shall mark this day, whereas there nothing special to celebrate as we are in the state of temporary defeat of October Revolution in its Motherland, i.e. we’ve been retreating. The best way for communists to mark this anniversary would be to review and reconsider honestly the fate of their movement in the last century. We should start with the recognition of the fact that communists didn’t always win in their struggle for masses, and that they have been defeated by counterrevolution by this day. We should answer the questions who or what has won, why we were defeated. Was this defeat the final and irreversible event or is this a temporary defeat and the struggle will go on? To put it brief: we should make conclusions from our mistakes. It’s not for nothing that Lenin said “Nothing can destroy us apart from our own mistakes.
- If we consider modern communist movement as a whole we’ll have to confess that the lessons haven't been learnt. We are of the opinion that nowadays opportunism and revisionism have turned from an internal product of communist movement, from a set of biases and errors into a powerful weapon in the hands of Imperialism. The right bias hasn’t gone away with Gorbachev and the destruction of USSR and CPSU in 1991
In Russia the line of Gorbachev is being followed by the party with communist name. The main features of their politics are as follows:
- it’s claimed that the limits for revolutions are up – the country cannot afford any more revolutions;
- it’s not only the concept of proletarian dictatorship that is rejected, but the concept of organized class struggle is rejected as well;
- parliamentarism is recognized as the power of people;
-.adherence to the model of market Socialism;
- support of Russian Orthodox Church, claims regarding its allegedly positive role in the development of people’s spirituality etc.
This is a typical occurrence in the communist movement of the world. To put it simple: there has been taking place the adaptation of the parties to the system of Capitalism while presenting themselves as parliamentary defenders of people’s rights.
- This right-wing transformation of communist parties leads to removal of masses from real political participation. Their role is thus limited to the functions of electorate who give their votes to party leaders in the course of elections. Strategy of victory by such opportunistic party reads as follows: they promise working people a success achieved in the course of coming election, whereas political struggle of masses is limited to the struggle for “honest” elections. Such focusing on parliamentary activities only is well remunerated by governments. One of the most typical examples of this occurrence is represented by European Left. These parties don’t recognize any extra-parliamentary forms of struggle, or pay them lip service only while actually hampering them.
- We cannot say that there is such thing as the unity of modern communist movement worldwide. One could start with our inability to adopt a joint statement – so great are the differences. Let me bring an example. Chairman of Peoples Republic of China Xi Jinping when meeting with Putin in the course of the BRICS summit in India in October congratulated Russian President on the victory of the party United Russia in the course of parliamentary elections: “Recently there have successfully taken place elections to the new State Duma. Party United Russia has achieved a convincing victory, and this creates solid and firm political foundation for stable development of Russia in the future”.
In fact he congratulates Putin on strengthening of anti-communism, anti-sovietism and capitalism. No comment.
- 6. The successes of China in development of economics are very much impressing and are the reason for big respect. Nevertheless this doesn’t mean a success in the construction of Socialism. There is an interesting example of how Lenin treated similar issues:
In the draft program prepared for the II Congress of RSDRP the aims of socialist production were described as “planned organization of social production process aimed at satisfaction of the needs both of whole society as well as of individual needs”. V.I. Lenin objected to such wording: “it’s not accurate. Such satisfaction can be provided by capitalism as well, the difference is that is not granted to all members of society and is not equal”. In the end of the day Lenin managed to change the draft program in the following way: “social revolution of proletariat will destroy the class division of society and liberate the whole oppressed mankind by way of replacing private property for means of production and turnover by the socialized one and introducing planned production process in order to ensure wellbeing and versatile development of all members of society.
Nowadays People’s Republic of China has the second largest number of billionaires in the world whereas Russia is the third. I think that both countries are equally far from the classless society – from communism.
- 7. The goal of Socialism is not limited to proclaiming the power of working people at all, the goal is to ensure that working people should have real practical possibility to perform this power. From our point of view the experience of Soviets should be studied and used by all parties. Soviets are the most adequate form of realization of people’s power, organizational form of proletarian dictatorship. The main point is the participation of working masses in the struggle. Initially this should be the issue of taking power, later under Socialism this is their participation in performing the dictatorship of proletariat. Lenin saw it as a universal participation in the control over state… Soviet power is built on the basis of industries – based on plants and factories.
- We, RCWP are going to celebrate the centennial anniversary of October Revolution by seeking new ways to develop the struggle. We’ll invite these parties that hasn’t used up their limits for revolutions, that extend their recognition of class struggle up to the recognition of proletarian dictatorship and whose practical activities are based upon workers movement. We in Russia have been attempting the tactics of creating Workers Front.
We see our task in preserving the Marxist-Leninist part of political theory and practice for the sake of future of communist movement that nobody will be able to extinguish.
We lived under Socialism and know for sure that the relations between people were much better, fairer, more unpolluted and honest, much more human. This is something to struggle for!
Let’s not falter on our chosen way!
Contribution by comrade Aleksandar Banjanac, Executive Secretary of NKPJ on the 18th IMCWP
Dear comrades, I warmly salute you all on behalf of the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia, and I convey to you the militant greetings of our members and sympathizers.
It is a great honor and pleasure to speak at a Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties of the world in the capital city of the nation that is victoriously struggled both against colonialism and imperialism, which determined its destiny and future by building of socialism under the leading role of communists headed by such a gigantic figure of our movement as it was comrade Ho Chi Minh. The brave people of Vietnam had defeated the Japanese militarists, the French colonialists and American imperialists, Vietnamese had provided an example to all justice-loving and freedom-loving peoples of the world how to fight for their freedom and independence. Let this triumphant spirit continue to inspire us in our further joint struggles, let it inspire all of us, delegates at the 18th Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties of the world, for which organization we thank to the Communist Party of Vietnam.
For 18 consecutive years, we are organizing an International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties. Our New Communist Party of Yugoslavia was decided 18 years ago to actively participate in these meetings, because they are the way to move toward a goal which was then, as well as it is now, an important precondition of the new growing and strengthening of the single block of the internationalist struggle of Communists, a way toward the creation of the new Comintern. As much as this goal, the creation of the new Comintern is at this given moment unrealistic, we are aware of the importance of these meetings. First of all this is obvious regarding the importance of our mutual solidarity. It is wrong to think that the party, whether they are large or small, ruling or illegal, do not need internationalist solidarity and support of fraternal parties of the world. There is no such party, at least there is no such Marxist-Leninist party.
In order to respond to the topic of this year's meeting, that is all about strategy and tactics in our struggle, I want to share with you on behalf of my party our vision of actualities that are signifying conditions of our struggle, at the general international level, as well as on the level of our region and country, and to explain to you our tactics in struggle. Therefore, I am particularly pointing out several issues:
First, our views on actualities from international developments:
1 - The crisis of capitalism is not over. Bourgeois economists cannot find any cure that would encourage real and sustainable growth, there is no new model and functional method, and it cannot be found because the system has not changed, capitalism cannot be repaired.
2 - For the purpose of its self-preservation, capitalism that is in the stage of imperialism continues to escalate aggressions and bloodsheds. The possibility of the outbreak of World War III is dramatically easier to imagine today than it was only 10 or 15 years ago. It is becoming clear what we were talking about 7-8 years ago, and that is that the wounded beast is the most dangerous. War conflicts caused by imperialism and led by imperialists are going on in many countries, in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Palestine, Ukraine and other countries. On behalf of our country and our people that also passed through the horrors of wars in its recent past, we express particularly great solidarity with the peoples of these countries.
3 - Spread threats of ISIS, growing religious fundamentalism and terrorism, growth of fascism represent the reflection of the nature of capitalism, sharpening of its inequalities and hopelessness of the poor, while, at the same time, the direct interest and guidance of imperialists is very obvious.
4 - NATO, the striking fist of imperialism and the greatest danger to world peace, continues with dangerous provocations against Russia, China, in the zone of the Pacific, the Middle East, against DPR Korea and elsewhere.
5 - The dangerous developments in many countries in Latin America, where right-wing came to power, forces sponsored by the United States, requires our solidarity with the peoples of these countries in these difficult times.
6 - We also express solidarity with the people whose soil is robbed, water and other natural resources, whether it comes to the so-called developing countries or as it was case recently in the “first country of imperialism” - the USA.
The next issues concerns our region, the Balkans, and our country:
1 - Serbia is still a partly occupied country, more precisely its southern province of Kosovo and Metohija. The latest actualities in the development of the occupation of Kosovo are related to the privatization of the assets of the Serbian state in Kosovo, as is the case with large mining complex of Trepča. Among monopolies that are involved in privatizations, are the companies of US general Wesley Clark, who was in position during the war of 1999.
2 - That capitalism is at the stage of imperialism, where monopolies at international level are socializing the labor in their favor, Serbian workers felt well on their own shoulders in companies like South Korean Jura and Samsung, or Italy's Fiat and Geox, and many other monopolies which conducted an unprecedented exploitation that has taken on dimensions of the scandal in Serbian society.
3 - Serbia is gradually entering NATO. Negotiations with the Serbian government are going on, and they will be more concrete after the visit of Prime Minister of Serbia to Brussels in late November. The current arrangements ensure that NATO troops can move freely through the territory of Serbia, and that they can benefit and use our military facilities, like military barracks, the same ones that were restored after their bombing.
4 - NATO announced a new expansion in the region. Montenegro is the newest target. Several NATO member countries have already ratified the agreement of accession of Montenegro, despite the fact that the recently held elections in Montenegro showed that the vast majority of citizens do not want their own republic in NATO.
5 - Unilateral solutions and moves that Western imperialists implement through their puppet regimes and politicians in the Balkans, with provocations against Russian interests also visible in our region, suggesting the possibility of renewed armed conflicts, is proof that there is no peace and reconciliation in the Balkans until its destiny is solely in the hands of Balkan peoples.
6 - A large wave of refugees from war-torn areas, such as Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan is not reduced, and the so-called “Balkan route” operates in undiminished volume. Solidarity with the people whose destinies are dismantled by imperialists!
Finally I will take the opportunity to explain tactics of our struggle presented through our current activities:
1 - At the end of November last year, our Party has held its IV Congress. Congress affirmed the party program based on the class-oriented line of orthodox Marxism-Leninism, against decades of conceptual weakening of our movement in our country when it was led by the idea of so-called self-management socialism, or titoism, which we fully reject as harmful reformist and opportunist views and tactics. Congress also confirmed opposition to ideological and political disintegration through harmful unification and drowning in parties and movements that do not have a consistent Marxist-Leninist orientation.
2 - Our party has come a long way in the process of rejuvenation of its leading cadres in party organs, and that process continues. We are proud that we are among the communist parties with youngest membership in the region, which is in line with the slogan that communism is the youth of the world. The new generation of communists that have grown through the struggle in our ranks, are stocks for the future of our party, its militancy and determination.
3 - The good news are that at the recent Congress of the WFTU in South Africa in its membership is definitely enrolled for the first time one Serbian trade union - "Sloga", with which our party has a very close cooperation. This is important for the better connection of the party, cadres and activists on the ground with the workers and the trade union movement in Serbia, which stands on class positions, against opportunism.
4 - In addition to organizational strengthening of our positions in the workplace, in the streets, among pensioners and other social categories, we put a lot of hopes in the successes of our student organization “Student front” that successfully mobilizes student masses in the struggle for totally free, accessible and quality education for all.
5 - In addition to the Internet propaganda and activities in this field, we have renewed regular publishing of our organ of the CC - "New Communist" that was previously only sporadically published. We are aware of the importance of the journal in organizational, agitation and theoretical terms.
Comrades, hard times for the Communists are still here. Persistent and bitter struggle which obliges us to continue to hold firmly a red banner of Marxism-Leninism in our hands while marching towards the future.
We are willing to learn from others and to point out what we think that is right. In addition to the differences that we have among ourselves, we have an obligation to agree on a clear vision of the world of the future, the world of socialism-communism. As our agreement of this vision is clearer and more precise, the easier it will be accepted by the masses of the working people of the world.
Long live the proletarian internationalism!
Long live Marxism-Leninism!
AKEL expresses its heartfelt thanks to the Communist Party of Vietnam for hosting the 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties. It is a great honor and joy because the struggles of the people of Vietnam, the homeland of Ho Chi Minh, represent an international symbol of anti-imperialist struggle.
The 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties is being held in the international conditions of a generalized capitalist crisis. The crisis of the system has led to the profound intensification of the contradictions and competition between the world’s powerful centres and to the exacerbation of the class contradictions between capital and labour. The crisis of the system, the dozens of armed conflicts and the danger of a general war breaking out, the very real environmental threat to the planet, the explosive inequalities, the severity of the exploitation of the working class, the mass poverty, hunger, misery and unemployment billions of people are suffering throughout the world, the vicious cycle of debt that is undermining the very sovereignty of dozens of countries, the crisis of the bourgeois political system in the developed capitalist countries, the resurgence of nationalism and fascism confirm the structural deadlocks of capitalism. At the same time underline the timeliness and necessity of socialism as the alternative and as the new step forward in the history of mankind.
The process of capital’s internationalization is broadening and deepening continuously. One characteristic example of this trend is the huge agreements for the integration of the European Union’s markets with the US (TTIP) and Canada (CETA) respectively, which, in spite of the difficulties they are encountering currently, will signal the establishment of an "economic NATO". The G7, the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the specific processes underway within the framework of BRICS and in Latin America illustrate these trends, despite the differences between them in the type and depth of cooperation. The various regional capitalist integrations, with the most advanced example being the European Union itself, have assumed a deeper and more permanent form.
Similar processes are also underway in other regions of the world, such as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) led by Russia, ASEAN in Southeast Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). A supervisory role in the global capitalist economy is being played by international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
This process, by its very nature is contradictory, simultaneously also releasing centrifugal tendencies within the blocs formed, but also internally in countries themselves between different sections of capital whose interests correspond to different international orientations (for example, «Euroscepticism”, the growth of nationalist secessionist tendencies).
All these developments have intensified dramatically as a result of the capitalist crisis which is provoking upheavals in imperialism’s international pyramid, changes in the balance of power, the resurgence of old and new hotbeds of military tension, the formation of new alliances, the promotion of transnational cooperation and deepening regional integrations whose purpose is to ensure access to markets, sources of energy and raw materials to the monopolies of their countries, but also the export of capital in order to cope with the fierce competition.
The relative decline in the G7 countries (US, powerful EU countries, Japan) share of the world’s GDP, the inability of the EU and the Eurozone area to overcome the crisis, coupled with the emergence of China and India above all, but also of the other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, South Africa) with the gradual movement of capital, trade and manufacturing from the West to the developing countries in recent years, forms the foundation on which the competition for hegemony in the world’s system is changing. These trends are also reflected in relation to industrial production, which the IMF has predicted will reach its epicenter in the East and Asia by 2030.
It is precisely this situation which has sparked a new intensity in the economic, political and military aggression on the part of the US, NATO and the EU in order to defend their hegemony. At the same time, the growth in the influence of "non-Western" forces is also changing their stand on the geopolitical chessboard. It shouldn’t escape our attention that Russia is a capitalist economy and that the Peoples Republic of China has proceeded to serious openings in its economy. Nonetheless, the main feature of our era is the Euro-Atlantic block’s aggressive plans for the geopolitical encirclement of both Russia and China, respectively, within the context of the ongoing competition for the control of energy sources. The intensification of these rivalries is becoming explosive in three distinctive parts of the world with huge stakes regarding the enormous battles of our time for energy.
Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: Here we observe NATO’s enlargement to the east, the drastic militarization of Eastern Europe and the EU's financial and political penetration in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics. A more recent and striking example is the coup d’état in Ukraine, with the support of the US, EU and NATO and with the participation of fascist forces, aiming at the dismantling of the country's ties with Russia in order to detach Ukraine from Russian influence and for Ukraine to join the EU-NATO bloc. The NATO Summit decisions approved in Warsaw in July 2016 for the further concentration of NATO forces on Russia’s borders and for the completion of the "anti-missile shield" also serve this strategy. In addition, the path of integrating the Western Balkans to the EU and NATO is being further promoted, which however is interwoven with signs of an upsurge of nationalisms in the volatile region.
Southeast Asia: The US’ “turn to Southeast Asia and the Pacific" signaled the channeling of investment and drastic strengthening of US military presence in the South China Sea and the Pacific in general. The EU is also attempting to become involved in bilateral disputes in the region, while the process of Japan’s militarization can only cause concern.
Eastern Mediterranean (Middle East - North Africa): The troubled neighborhood of the Eastern Mediterranean is once again being targeted by the imperialist powers. The American-engineered plan for the 'New Middle East', assisted by the EU's 2003 European Security Strategy and its development in the foreign and defence policy of the EU, represents the guiding compass for the overall rearrangement of the region to suit the West’s interests, which is literally taking place with the shedding of the blood of the peoples.
At the same time, a trend towards the re-colonization of the strife-torn African continent is being noted, given that judging from all the developments unfolding in the Mediterranean African countries, intense activity by foreign business groups is being observed in sub-Saharan Africa (the EU has established an Investment Fund for Africa), mainly American and Chinese, since the labour force is extremely cheap and the unexploited mineral wealth there is huge. The civil war strife and actions of terrorist organizations in the region are being exploited to justify foreign interventions and the continent’s militarization. The EU is present in military missions in Somalia, in the Horn of Africa, Mali and the Central African Republic, while the US Africa Military Command in Africa is deploying forces, holding military exercises and forging military cooperation with the majority of the continent’s countries.
In Latin America, the social and economic progress that has been achieved during the previous years as a result of the election of progressive governments, which the Communist Parties also support, are now facing an all-out attack waged against them conducted by the right-wing forces, under the direct guidance of the US, who are engaging in a war of attrition of these governments, attempts at staging coup d’états and increasingly the organization of political coup d’états such as the recent example of Brazil. Cuba continues to be a shining beacon and an inspiration for the peoples of the world, where the socialist construction is ongoing despite the unending economic blockade of US and the objective difficulties. Developments in US-Cuba relations do not signal in any way an end to the aggression and plans for the overthrow of socialism socialist in Cuba. The US were forced to change their tactics, but their goal hasn’t changed.
International developments are accompanied by an unprecedented militarization of the world and international relations. NATO’s New Strategic Concept is developing further the globalization of its activity (through its continuous enlargement, the establishment of regional cooperation and the generalization of its military actions beyond its periphery) and the strengthening of its military machine. NATO has broadened its arena of activity by including the type of threats that "legitimize" its interventions, such as migration, threats to cyber security, security of energy infrastructures up to and including the internal security of its Member States. At the same time, the military use of murderous drones by the US and NATO (and the development of corresponding EU technology programs) are leading to a new arms race and launching a new kinds of wars. The militarization of space is also a strategic choice made by the USA and the EU. The danger of nuclear devastation remains unabated, given that the NATO nuclear states are obstructing the prospect of global nuclear disarmament. At the same time, they are fully covering up Israel which has nuclear weapons in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In response to all this, Russia is upgrading militarily and expanding its military presence globally.
Also part of international imperialism’s arsenal is the extensive network of legal and illegal surveillance at the disposal of the secret services of powerful countries, headed of course by the US and Britain (NSA and GCHQ), EU terror laws, mass profiling, the curtailing of democratic freedoms and rights, as well as the utilization of the internet and social media by multinationals and secret services. At the same time, the flagrant violation of International Law and the principles of non-intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the manipulation of issues relating to democracy, human rights and issues concerning minorities, as well as the undermining of the United Nations by the US and Britain is being consolidated further.
In relation to the ideological arena, the different national and supranational centres of the system have a variety of tools that are utilized depending on interests. Anti-communism, nationalism-chauvinism, the cultivation of notions about "the clash of civilizations", anti-terrorist struggle against "radicalization", liberal cosmopolitanism, religious fanaticism, Islamophobia, the denigration of political participation and struggle, populism targeting political parties are tools used for manipulating the masses in order to achieve their involvement or consent to their imperialist objectives and plans.
Anticommunism in particular, which is combined with the campaign to equate fascism-communism and the arbitrary terminology about “totalitarianism” represents a strategic choice of the system in order to keep the masses of the people, and especially the young generation, away from the communist Left, the one force that can organize and give an orientation to key struggles.
Also connected is the growing trend of historical revisionism which is seeking to delete from humanity’s collective memory the crimes committed by imperialism and fascism, the contribution of the socialist system and the international communist movement in the 20th century, the historical experience of the power the popular struggles can have, but also the theoretical superiority of Marxism-Leninism in the understanding of the modern world and the exploitative nature of capitalism.
The Eastern Mediterranean is an extremely important area at the heart of the new regional order. Data surrounding the Eastern Mediterranean confirm its importance, as well as the sources of the intensifying antagonisms. According to figures released in 2012, 75% -80% of the world’s trade is carried out from sea. At the same time, profits from maritime trade have reached $ 400 billion. Figures from the same year show that 30% of the world’s maritime trade is conducted in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as 25% of the transport of oil by the sea. Around 200,000 ships move annually in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 2010, the US Centre for Geological Research in its report, estimated that the value of the Eastern Mediterranean energy reserves amount to approximately $ 1.5 trillion. The Middle East, which is the region’s wounded heart, is the most militarized area in the world and also contains 49% of the world's oil reserves.
On this very ground, the Western imperialist’s plans are ongoing in the region. For two decades now, the strategy to impose a "New Middle East" is being promoted which was prepared by the Bush administration under the slogan of promoting the “democratization” of the region’s regimes. This strategy involves the overthrow of governments, turning states into protectorates, militarization, the redrawing of borders, the division of states and of course preparing the ground for the West’s financial monopoly giants to operate and bring energy under their control.
The common path of the EU and US with regards their plans for the Middle East was sealed with the elaboration of the European Security Strategy which set as its strategic goal "the establishment of a network of well-governed countries to the east and the Union's Mediterranean borders." Its enough to point out the hypocrisy and contradictions in the pretexts the imperialists used in recent years: they were accusing Syria and Libya of being authoritarian regimes, but are cooperating excellently with Saudi Arabia, one of the most brutal regimes in the world. They were searching for nuclear and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Iran, but are pretending even today that they do not see Israel’s awesome nuclear arsenal.
These plans are linked with pending international problems (Palestine, Cyprus), as well as with the new dramatic developments, such as the imperialist intervention in Syria, the uprisings of the so-called “Arab Spring”, the rise of Islamic extremism etc.).
Today, we can underline with certainty that the international communist movement’s assessment of the so-called "Arab Spring" has been verified. These uprisings did not result in the liberation of the countries from imperialist dependencies, while in some cases they brought to the fore extreme fundamentalist movements.
In Syria one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history is raging. The funding and arming of armed extremist groups of the Syrian opposition by Turkey, the US, Britain and the Gulf monarchies to overthrow the Assad government has provoked a bloody war and unprecedented waves of refugees. Furthermore, it has released the obscurantist forces of the "Islamic State" whose crimes, despite the horror they have caused to humanity as a whole, are always being used by the imperialists to justify new military interventions in the region. The State of Israel continues to consolidate the fait accomplis of the occupation and colonization of Palestinian territories so as to render a two-state solution practically unfeasible. Libya, which in 2012 experienced NATO’s raid, has been plunged into chaos and has virtually ceased to function as a state. In Afghanistan, the US have ensured the permanence of their military presence, while Iraq continues to face the threat of division and Islamic terrorism.
The militarization of the Eastern Mediterranean has risen in recent years to unprecedented levels, given that in the region there are already key parts of the NATO machine (HQ’s, naval base, missile firing range, the centre of maritime training, parts of the anti-missile missile shield), the NATO “Active Endeavour” naval operation – according to Article 5- that is was patrolling the Mediterranean over the last 15 years, while two military and civilian programs, two NATO satellites, the “Mediterranean Dialogue” and "Istanbul Cooperation Initiative" are focusing on the region. On the part of the EU, the Maritime Dimension of the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy is openly promoting the militarization of the seas, focusing on the eastern Mediterranean in particular. The most worrying development is the exploitation of the refugee issue to further NATO control and militarization of the Mediterranean. NATO has been actively involved in the management of refugee flows in the Aegean Sea, with the participation of Germany which for the first time since the Second World War is sending troops beyond its borders. The EU has deployed off the coasts of Libya the military operation EU NAVFOR MED «Sophia» to halt the flows of refuges. At the same time, it has upgraded FRONTEX to a border-coastguard force and is promoting plans to bolster the navy of North African states. The last NATO Summit decisions in relation to the Alliance’s southern borders are even more alarming. «Active Endeavour» is evolving into a marine security operation «Sea Guardian» with extended powers and functions, while NATO will also be involved in the EU NAVFOR MED «Sophia» operation. Libya’s association to the "Mediterranean Dialogue" is being promoted. NATO is involved in training the Libyan navy and the Tunisian intelligence services. Finally, a NATO aerial squadron of sophisticated AWACS spy planes has begun the direct channeling of information to the "International Coalition against ISIS". The picture of the region’s militarization is complemented by the growing presence of Russia.
Particular mention should be made to Turkey’s role in the region, which had been projected in previous years as a “model state” that would play a leading role in the Muslim world. Today, Turkey’s explosive domestic problems are being expanded as aggression against its neighboring countries. However, neither the brutal repression of the opposition, the worker’s movement and the country's Kurds, nor the invasion of Syria and Iraq, Turkey's support to "ISIS", the continued occupation of Cyprus for 42 years, the provocations against Greece, the blatant extortion and blackmail in relation to the refugee question bother the bloc of NATO, the US and the EU which continues to provide support to Erdogan’s government in order to prevent a Turkish reorientation towards Russia.
In the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean, also including the Persian Gulf, where the six states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), who own 40% of the proven global crude oil reserves and 25% of natural gas reserves with a total GDP of $ 1.6 trillion, are teaming up in an alliance in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In the GCC Saudi Arabia is dominant which in an increasingly aggressive way is asserting a hegemonic role in the wider area, within the framework of its long-standing confrontation with Iran that is disguised with the mask of a religious conflict. Saudi Arabia, a privileged ally, trading partner and buyer of Western weapons, is upgrading itself militarily. In 2014, 25% of government expenditure was devoted to strengthening its armed forces. It is leading the formation of a permanent military alliance of the Arab States, but also the allied intervention of the Gulf forces in both Syria, as well as in the strategic important for international shipping country, Yemen.
This situation in the Eastern Mediterranean region, and especially in the Middle East, reflects the result of the “creative chaos” of US and NATO interventions and raids over the last 20 years, but not only that. It is obvious that the US and its allies, without having lost the upper hand, face difficulties in handling the situation which they themselves have created. This enhances the importance of the West’s regional allies (Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt). This fact in turn creates the arena to assert greater autonomy from these forces and a greater share of the geopolitical and economic "pie", and therefore for a greater aggressiveness of the ruling class by each of them, both internally but also asserting a hegemonic role in the region.
The right-wing Anastasiades government in Cyprus, since the 2013 presidential election, has demonstrated its willingness to actively support the imperialist plans in the region. From the very outset it announced the reorientation of the foreign policy of the Republic of Cyprus, approaching the US and NATO with a declared position in favour of Cyprus’ accession to NATO or the NATO “Partnership for Peace” program, (something which the previous government of Cyprus, the Christofias-AKEL administration, had managed to prevent despite the fierce pressure exerted then by the opposition), damaging Cyprus-Russia economic and political relations and acting fully in line with the EU's decisions on Syria. It is no coincidence that the DISY-Anastasiades government described our country as "an advanced outpost of the EU and the West in the eastern Mediterranean", agreeing unconditionally to the use of the British military bases and offering every kind of facilities for the carrying out of air strikes in Syria and Iraq without reflecting on the dangers posed to our people’s security as a result of Cyprus’ involvement in these operations. In addition, the ruling party characterized Cyprus as "Israel's shield" and the government took a series of actions that constitute an unacceptable shift from Cyprus’ principled positions with regards the Palestinian issue. It also proceeded to take steps for the militarization of the Cyprus-Israel energy cooperation (for example, the Convention on the Status of Cyprus-Israel Forces), cooperation feeding various adventurist theories about a military alliance between Greece-Cyprus-Israel that will supposedly confront Turkey. AKEL also strongly disagreed with the policy of the Anastasiades government, who, evidently as a result of foreign encouragement, abandoned the plan for the creation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, which, unlike the pipe lines, does not create additional dependencies and commitments for our country regarding the exploitation of its natural wealth.
However, due to the strong economic ties between Russia and Cyprus, the refuting of the government’s expectations for the support that it would receive from the US on the Cyprus problem and the rapprochement between Turkey and Israel, the policy that was initially pursued by the Anastasiades government has now been toned-down, without however losing its pro-Western orientation.
AKEL supports that there is considerable scope for developing the joint action of the Communist and Worker’s Parties of the Eastern Mediterranean region against the imperialist interventions and wars in the region, against the exploitation of the natural wealth of our countries from the multinational monopolies in favor of the struggle of our peoples for peace, democracy, popular sovereignty and socialism.
To this end, we must strengthen anti-war mobilizations, solidarity initiatives towards the struggling peoples of the region and refugees, the mutual briefing between the members and friends of our Parties on our region's issues, the utilization of the podium of parliaments for projecting the region’s issues. The specific goal of struggle is the demand for declaring the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, a goal with an anti-imperialist and peace-loving content which can rally broader progressive forces of the region.
The European Union is enhancing its character as an advanced form of capitalist integration. On this basis, processes are taking place that are deepening the integration of the EU on a path of neoliberalism, militarism and federalism in which the sovereignty of States and peoples is being dramatically limited and transferred to an EU level. The much debated democratic deficit of the EU, that is to say the deeply undemocratic structure and excessive powers of unelected bodies of the Union, represents a structural characteristic of its construction which enables the continuation of the same policies, despite widespread social discontent.
At the same time, the leading EU countries, in between contradictions and alliances, are playing an increasingly greater role in imposing their policies and interests, a fact which highlights the structural inequalities that the structure of the EU has. The confrontations between EU member states and the rise of reactionary Euroscepticism, which in the case of the United Kingdom led even to the decision to withdraw from the Union, concern conflicting capitalist interests and rivalries between sections of big capital. Besides, there is complete harmony between the Member States, institutions and ruling political forces in the EU when it comes to the imposition of measures in favor of big capital and against the peoples and workers.
However, in our view, the decision of the UK to leave the Union, was not only the result of the reactionary populist demagogy and xenophobia as the ruling political forces want to portray it. Popular discontent about the EU’s anti-worker policies and undemocratic functioning is real, undoubtedly justified and constantly growing.
The imposition of the Lisbon Treaty, the establishment of the Single Economic Governance and the Banking Union that is promoting a gigantic centralization of financial capital and the adoption of a series of packages towards a single economic and budgetary policy of strict austerity of the Member States under the control of the EU, are increasing the exploitation of the working class and working people across EU countries, selling off public wealth and property, protecting the profits and power of the multinational monopolies, abolishing whatever social gains are remain and sharpening the contradictions between strong and weaker member states.
Furthermore, the institutionalized cooperation of the EU with the IMF, is exacerbating the anti-peoples nature of the Union’s policies and subjugating the peoples, primarily from the periphery, more intensely. In some member states, the burden of the crisis has been shifted entirely on to the backs of the working people through the "Memoranda of Understanding" imposed by the EU together with the IMF ("Troika") and the respective national governments, including the Cypriot Anastasiades government.
The Cyprus Memorandum, apart from vicious austerity and privatizations, also imposed the unprecedented measure of the haircut on bank deposits, which, at the same time aimed to strike at Russian capital too in Cyprus which is in competition with the Eurozone economies. It is evident that the dramatic economic situation in a number of EU states is generating despair and insecurity for millions of Europeans, which in turn provokes among a section of them fear, conservative reflexes and a distancing from popular struggles.
The nature of the EU reproduces the barbarity against the people’s interests within it and spreads out to interventionism and militarism abroad. It is increasingly asserting an increasing share in the global market and geopolitical spheres of influence, in competition with the other powerful centres of the planet in order to constantly be expanding the scope of its giant business companies and ensuring access to energy sources. This pursuit is expressed through the EU’s external action’s economic and political content on a number of open fronts (the economic war with Russia, the backing provided to the Syrian opposition, the conclusion of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which triggered the bloodshed, and subsequently the support rendered to the coup d’état in Ukraine), on its institutional policies (see, EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Common Trade Policy, Neighborhood Policy, agreements integrating markets with the US, Canada, etc.), as well as through its partnerships with other countries and regions of the world.
Even more characteristic is the EU’s continuous militarization with the ever deepening engagement and coupling with NATO, the creation of combat-ready military forces, the sending of military-civilian operations around the world, the wide-spread arms trade with dictatorships and warring States, military "solutions" to the refugee crisis, the shift in investment in the war arms industry and the return of "thoughts" about creating an EU army.
At the same time, it is evident that the reality of the EU is also illustrated by a number of other fields, such as the curbing of democratic freedoms and individual rights in the name of combating terrorism, the creation of “Fortress Europe” with anti-immigrant repression and the acute exploitation of immigrants as a cheap labour force, institutional anticommunism etc. It is on this ground that the rise of xenophobia and racism is growing, which with the support of the system and sections of the ruling class in each country, are feeding the extreme right and neo-fascism.
The reality that the status of an EU member state formulates sets additional tasks for the Communist and Workers' Parties of the European states. Although the national arena of struggle remains the primary field, our type of parties have the duty to also struggle on a European level to elaborate their positions towards the EU and its policies, to continually strengthen the exchange of views between them and to promote their coordination and joint action against further curbing of the national sovereignty of EU Member States and the transfer of additional powers to Brussels. At the same time, we pay particular attention to the developing joint actions and solidarity at the level of the European trade union movement through the leading role of the European Regional Office of the World Trade Union Federation.
Cyprus – The Cyprus problem
Cyprus, the southeastern point of the EU, is the only EU member state located in the middle of the eastern Mediterranean. The 42 year old occupation and colonization of 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and the de facto partition of the island and the division of its people on a community basis constitutes Cyprus’ big wound. The Cyprus problem is primarily an international problem of invasion, occupation, illegal colonization, ethnic cleansing and imperialist interventions. At the same time however, the Cyprus problem has its internal aspect which concerns the relations of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot community and in particular the constitutional state structure of the Republic of Cyprus.
AKEL has as its strategic goal the solution of the Cyprus problem, so that the occupation and division of Cyprus will be terminated, and the people, the land, the economy and society of the island will be reunified. For AKEL, the liberation from the foreign occupation and the reunification of the Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, constitutes an essential prerequisite for setting the target of the socialist transformation of Cypriot society.
In addition, the solution of the Cyprus problem has become urgent, given that the passage of time creates serious negative faits accomplis on the ground, but also with regards the demographic composition of the population, through the colonization in the northern occupied part of the island, where Turkey in 1983 illegally declared the non-recognized formation of the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". In recent years, the Erdogan government has intensified the policy of cultural-religious, economic and political assimilation of the occupied part of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot community itself, through colonization, the blatant interference in the political affairs of the Turkish Cypriot community, the imposition of an Islamic agenda (for example, the construction of minarets, the establishment of theological schools, the introduction of religious lessons) and the enforcement of the policy of privatizations and austerity to the benefit of Turkish big capital.
The intense international interest in the Cyprus problem in recent years should also be noted, after the discovery of significant natural gas reserves in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus. Despite the threats and aggression by Turkey, the Republic of Cyprus has every right to exercise its sovereign rights for research and exploitation of its natural wealth to the benefit of both communities and form mutually beneficial energy partnerships with all its neighbors. This development represents a serious incentive to find a solution for both communities, as well as for Turkey itself. Both the US and EU favour the finding of a settlement of the Cyprus problem in order, inter alia, to advance the energy plans for the region, but isn’t however interested whether or not the principles of the solution of the Cyprus problem and International Law are respected. Therefore, what is at stake is the type of solution the various involved parties are seeking or are willing to accept.
Based on these given facts, AKEL remains committed to finding a solution of the Cyprus problem as soon as possible, but at the same time it stresses that the most important issue is the content of the solution. The solution which AKEL is struggling for must liberate and reunify Cyprus and its people through:
• the termination of the occupation and colonization
• the abolition of any rights of intervention and the anachronistic system of guarantees. AKEL rejects any NATO involvement on the issue of security or any scenarios for the Republic of Cyprus' accession to NATO or the NATO program "Partnership for Peace".
• the restoration of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus
• the restoration of the unity of the state, the people, institutions and economy.
• the safeguarding of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, including the refugees' right of return to their homes and properties
• the complete demilitarization of Cyprus
In relation to the internal-constitutional aspect of the Cyprus problem, AKEL is firmly focused on the transformation of Cyprus into a bizonal bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, a single international personality, a single citizenship and with political equality of the two communities as defined by the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. This solution has been agreed to by the leaders of the two communities in 1977 and has since repeatedly been reaffirmed and adopted by the UN resolutions and more broadly by the international community. This is the solution that can unite the forces in the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities who oppose the division of our country and people, who support the independence and unity of Cyprus.
AKEL considers that any abandonment of a federal solution will offer the opportunity to the occupying power, namely Turkey, to demand from the international community the recognition of the pseudo-state and the legalization of the division of Cyprus through confederation or partition.
AKEL supports that there is no other way for the solution of the Cyprus problem other than the peaceful struggle through the intercommunal talks within the framework and under the auspices of the UN that will solve the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem. The international aspects must be agreed within the framework of an international conference to be convened under UN auspices, with the participation of the five Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, the Republic of Cyprus, the existing three guarantor powers and the two communities. A comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, the content of which will be agreed by the leaders, must subsequently be judged by the people through simultaneous separate referendums to be held in both communities.
AKEL supports the current procedure of the negotiations between the leaders of the two communities and sets out its position on the developments surrounding the Cyprus problem on the basis of the above positions. If the intercommunal negotiations reach within range of an agreement, then the way will be paved to make the occupying power, that is to say Turkey, face up to its responsibilities, which must abandon in practice the dogma that there are "two peoples-two states" on the island, the demand for sovereignty over Cyprus with its troops and rights of intervention remaining. The verbal statements of Turkey's leadership in favor of the solution of the Cyprus problem will then be verified in practice. Today no one can prejudge whether this procedure will result in any agreement or failure. AKEL has stated repeatedly that one cannot expect our support to a solution that is not based on the fundamental principles as they have been outlined very clearly by the Political Bureau of the C.C. of AKEL on 17th September.
AKEL’s line on the Cyprus problem could be summarized in the following position: We are ready for an honorable compromise between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, but we will not accept a compromise with the occupation, partition and NATO.
AKEL is working within this framework to convince the people of Cyprus for the need of a solution to the Cyprus problem based on principles, given that inside Cyprus there are other schools of thought and political lines on the Cyprus problem.
Within the Greek Cypriot community there is on the one hand the trend of the Greek Cypriot bourgeois cosmopolitan Right-wing which has always been prone to a "loose federation" solution with NATO involvement and on the other hand, the rejectionist line of the center-right and the extreme-right is governed by the disguised or open nationalism which refuses the compromise between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots for a federal solution.
Inside the Turkish Cypriot community, apart from the progressive forces that accept the federal reunification and demilitarization of the island, positions in favour of the permanence of the Turkish army and Turkish guarantees, for confederation and even for Turkey’s annexation of the occupied areas are being recorded with varying degrees.
AKEL is the leading pioneering force in Cyprus in favour of the rapprochement, cooperation and fraternity between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots through the forging and construction of a common front of struggle against the partition, the presence of foreign armies and guardians and nationalism-chauvinism. The Communist Party of Cyprus - AKEL was the force that united the Cypriot working class in the struggles for bread and freedom and has a long and glorious history of struggles and sacrifices in support of the friendship between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and of the struggle for a free and united homeland for all Cypriots.
In these conditions, the continuation of the internationalist solidarity of the international communist and progressive movement towards the struggle of the Cypriot people is extremely valuable.
In relation to the socioeconomic situation in Cyprus, the dominant aspect is the stark contrast between the celebrations of the Anastasiades government about the country’s formal exit from the regime of the Memorandum and the social reality experienced by the majority of the popular classes. The meagre growth registered by the Cyprus economy, in fact relates to the increase in profits of a handful of big businessmen. Labour relations in the private sector are in fu state of full deregulation. Unemployment is at 14.1%. Profitable Semi-governmental organizations (electricity, ports and telecommunications) are being sold off, while public hospitals are in danger of collapsing. 28.9% of the population is at risk of poverty and social exclusion. For 14 consecutive quarters wages have been falling continuously and pensioner’s standard of living is recording a reduction of up to 30%. The Cyprus is currently the Eurozone’s champion in increasing income inequality, the percentage of underemployed and in the percentage (over 50%) of non-performing loans corresponding to € 25.5 billion. The last figure is extremely critical, given that the Anastasiades government, together with the bourgeois parties of the opposition, approved the framework for foreclosures which does not really protect the primary family home.
AKEL is the most consistent force against the class attack waged by the Anastasiades government, the EU and the IMF. It reveals to the Cypriot people the realities that the economic team of the government and the mass media are concealing. It is the force that is in the front line of whatever popular and social mobilizations have taken place over the last three years in Cyprus. At the same time, the class-based trade union movement of the Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO) at its last Extraordinary Congress conveyed a message of counter-attack and set at the forefront of its goals the recovery of wages and labour rights, the assertion of increases, mass resistance to privatizations, the regulation of collective agreements through legislation and the protection of unorganized workers.
The international communist movement
The Communist and Workers' Parties are united by the common ideological starting point of Marxism-Leninism, internationalism and our faith in the socialist future of humanity. We are united by common historical struggles and sacrifices, common values and common ideals. Nonetheless it is well-known and we would say natural that among the parties of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties there are minor or major differences on both strategic and tactical issues and on specific issues.
AKEL considers that these differences can and must be discussed within the framework of a dialogue that should be characterized by comradely mutual respect, equality and the avoidance of paternalistic approaches and interventions in the internal affairs of other Parties. AKEL also considers that every one of our parties has the right to determine on its own its positions on all the issues about which it believes that it should set out its position. Nevertheless, AKEL considers it always useful on the issues relating to a particular country to study and heed/listen to the positions of the party or IMCWP parties that are struggling in that country and which are solely accountable to their peoples.
At the same time, and despite the differences, AKEL strongly believes and it is proved in practice that there is huge scope for joint action of all the Communist and Workers' Parties on a number of issues and that we must continuously develop all that unites us.
1. Support for the anti-war and peace movement and the international solidarity movement through the World Peace Council, which must maintain and reinforce its broad, mass political and anti-imperialist character through common campaigns (for example, on nuclear weapons).
2. Support to the organizations of the international movement (WFTU, WFDY and WIDW).
3. Solidarity with the peoples of Palestine, Syria and the entire Middle East against imperialist interventions and wars.
4. Solidarity with the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela and Latin America as a whole.
5. Joint actions on the front to save the environment.
6. Actions and joint initiatives to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
7. Common front against anti-communism, the campaign to equate communism with fascism, the distortion and falsification of the history of the 20th century and the contribution of the socialist system.
Dear comrades :
The Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP-1930, the Philippine Communist Party) thanks and congratulates the Communist Party of Vietnam for hosting this 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties. We also send our warmest fraternal greetings to all the participants of this very important and historic event.
This international meeting is being held as the world capitalist system is mired in deeper and more acute contradictions, such as the following :
--- the sharper contradiction between the exponential growth of the social nature of globalized production, and the more limited private appropriation of the tremendous wealth produced ;
--- the crying contradiction between the great advances in science and technology resulting to over-production and the over-accumulation of capital, even while millions of people are consigned to conditions of unemployment and destitution ; and
--- the sharper contradictions and more tense competition among imperialist countries and centers, now primarily between the trilateral alliance of the USA, EU and Japan on the one hand, and the China-Russia alliance on the other hand.
These contradictions, which are basically internal to the world capitalist system, point to the fact that the world capitalist system has reached its historical limit, and cannot continue with the usual business of exploitation without bringing humanity to barbaric poverty levels, and even to the brink of global war and extinction. This historic limit points to the need to overthrow this system on a global scale, and the concomitant need to build socialism in all countries.
An important aspect of the general crisis of capitalism is the continued struggle of the world revolutionary forces against imperialism and reaction --- the continued struggle of the socialist and socialist-oriented countries against imperialist interference and subversion ; the continued working class struggles against the bourgeoisie in imperialist and other developed capitalist countries ; the national democratic struggles in developing countries against the neo-colonial impositions ofimperialism ; and even the remaining struggles for national liberation in racist-controlled colonies such as Palestine and Puerto Rico.
The present cycle of the world capitalist crisis is the inevitable end result of the last two and a half decades of the globalization of production and marketing –- the globalization of finance capital since the socialist community was treacherously subverted from within by special agents of imperialism who wormed their way to the top leadership of ruling communist and workers’ parties. The squeezing of more profits from labor and from the destruction of the environment, which initially was made possible with the opening up of the former socialist community, and their allies in the developing world, to neo-liberal policies designed for the global penetration by finance capital, has proven to be truly unsustainable.
The global penetration by finance capital only led to global over-production, to the inevitable saturation of international markets, to more cut-throat inter-imperialist competition, and to the greater diversion of wealth towards investment ventures of the fictitious type (the non-productive “hedging” or speculation on commodity trade, on “derivatives”, and even on stock market or currency movements). Such rise in casino-type investments only resulted to the graver magnitude and impact of the financial and economic crisis of capitalism, the burdens of which are being passed on as yokes upon the working masses.
Deprivation and suffering in the midst of plenty is the real face of capitalism, not only in our country but in imperialist countries as well, where millions of workers have lost their jobs and homes. Millions more of peoples around the globe are dying with growing famines, homelessness, poverty and incapacity to secure basic nourishment and health care. In reaction to the deepening crisis of capitalism, and in greedy pursuit for greater profits, imperialist forces are escalating their economic, social, political, and military offensives to the detriment of the working peoples in the whole world.
In the economic field, imperialist powers employ the debt trap to consolidate their hold on countries as their sources of super-profits. Imperialist-controlled multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank and other such regional banks, are responsible for perpetuating a system of international debt slavery by imposing onerous terms in the granting and renegotiation of “development”, “budget stabilization”, “structural” and other loans. The newly-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is on the same track, funded by China's dollar hoard amassed since the start of China's business and political partnership with US imperialism during the maoist period.
Imperialism applies the debt trap not only against developing countries, but even against developed capitalist countries. European and other developed capitalist governments which are unable to pay their foreign debts and to bail out their own banks and investment firms, are forced to accept EU/IMF control of their economies. Additional debts are incurred with more conditionalities, primarily the cutting of public employment levels and benefits, and the slashing of outlays for education, health, housing, social security, retirement and other social services which are badly needed by the working peoples.
It is also through government indebtedness to supra-national financial institutions that the development and social progress of “Third World” countries (like the Philippines) is impeded, and past gains of national sovereignty and even territorial integrity are subjected to a process of re-colonization. It is the greed for greater profits that fuels the imperialist drive for global domination, which is imposed on some resisting countries through covert and overt interference to organize coups, to cause “regime change” and install despotic puppet regimes, or to fuel ethnic and religious conflicts leading to their territorial balkanization.
The imperialist drive to retain and expand regional and even global domination is usually done through the forging of military alliances with countries under their influence or domination, through the installing of more military bases around the globe, and the open violation of international law and of the role of the United Nations through unilateral and direct military invasions and interference --- as witnessed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Such invasions and interference are even justified under such aims of “fighting terrorism”, “dismantling weapons of mass destruction”, “saving failed states”, “humanitarian assistance”, etc. Whatever the justification, imperialist aggression denigrates national independence and sovereignty, territorial integrity, the people’s right to self-determination, and the democratic and other human rights of the working masses.
The escalation of imperialist aggressiveness can clearly be seen in the military offensives of the USA and other NATO countries against the Arab peoples--- the deposing of old puppets to give way to new ones in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen ; the savage war to re-colonize Libya and to re-privatize her oil resources ; the propping-up and rearming of the archaic monarchies in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Oman ; the intensification of divisions and battles within Sudan ; the support for the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, and the backing up of the Israeli threat of aggression against the Lebanon ; and the whipping up of a war against Iran in an attempt to finally realize the US-Israeli plan for a “New Middle-East” that aims to perpetuate the humiliation of the Palestinian and other neighbouring Arab peoples.
The gravest tragedy today is the catastrophic war being waged by world imperialism against the socialist-oriented Syrian Arab Republic. Syria stands at the forefront of the present struggle against imperialism and international reaction, which seek to destroy stable societies, killing hundreds of thousands and leaving millions homeless in the process. Syria now faces imperialist aggression and proxy terrorism which are part of the vile plan to reconfigure the whole region into the US-Israeli blueprint for a “New Middle East” that would chop up countries into small warring sectarian and ethnic sub-states.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, US imperialist aggressiveness could clearly be seen in its continued destabilization plots against Cuba, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the other countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) ; in the building up of new US military bases in Colombia ; in the continued US control over Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal and Guantanamo Bay ; and in the continued support for British control over the Malvinas Islands.
In East Asia and the Pacific, an Asian version of NATO is also being developed, with Japan, South Korea and Australia serving as the regional acolytes for aggressive US plans to “contain” China. The military “encirclement” of China is the objective of the new “pivot”, or increased “rebalancing” and redeployment of US military forces, towards the Asia-Pacific region. For this purpose, new arrangements are being pursued for the constant visit (or increased stationing) of US forces in the Philippines, Singapore, Pakistan and India ; the build-up of US facilities in Diego Garcia ; and even the introduction of US forces into Mongolia. Fortunately for the Philippines, the new Duterte regime is bent on ending the Philippine-US military alliance.
Dear comrades :
Contending territorial claims over different parts of the South China Sea have figured in the USA’s present anti-China campaign. The Philippines, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Malaysia, Brunei and even Indonesia are the ASEAN countries which feel threatened by China's claim of so-called “indisputable sovereignty” over almost 90% of the whole of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea. This absurd claim is based on a “9-dash-line” map which was presented by China to the United Nations in May 2009 –- or 27 years after the forging of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to which China is also a signatory.
Incidentally, China's “9-dash-line” map emanated from an “11-dash-line” map produced by the Guomindang (Kuomintang) regime in 1947, where the “dashes” have no exact coordinates but allegedly traces the extent of the fabled sea explorations by the long-extinct Song (Sung) Dynasty (960-1279 AD). In violation of the 1982 UNCLOS, China in 1995 seized Mischief Reef which is within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the area of the Spratlys.
In 2012, also in violation of UNCLOS and of the November 4, 2002, ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (which required the parties to refrain from inhabiting on then-uninhabited islands and other features) China started reclamation and military constructions on Mischief Reef, and also started to permanentlystation warships to prevent Filipino fishing vessels from approaching their traditional fishing area at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal. The Philippines can only protest China's aggression, faced with China's show of military might in these 2 areas.
Pushed to the wall, the Philippine government on January 22, 2013, filed a motion for arbitration with the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands, to challenge China's claim to most of the West Philippine Sea, to compel China to respect the Philippine right to its EEZ, and to stop Chinese incursions. The Philippines also asked for the nullification of China's “9-dash-line” claim which covers not only a large part of the West Philippine Sea but also a large part of the South China Sea, and demanded that China desist from unlawful activities which violate the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines under UNCLOS.
On July 12, 2016, the Ad-Hoc Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague handed its decision which primarily ruled that China’s “9-dash-line,” under which it claims “historic rights” over almost all of the vast South China Sea, is contrary to the UNCLOS and is thus invalid. Consequently, the Philippines is legally and solelyentitled to exploit and develop the mineral deposits, marine life and other natural resources within its EEZ. Consequently also, the South China Sea is open to navigation and overflight by all countries, and cannot be subject to China's imposition of an “air defence identification zone (ADIZ)”. The repudiation of China's “9-dash-line” map by the Ad-Hoc Arbitral Tribunal is a victory not only for the Philippines, but for the said other ASEAN claimant countries as well.
Considering China’s intransigence, it needs the international community to call upon China to respect UNCLOS and the Arbitral decision, to cooperate in the forging of a comprehensive ASEAN-China Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, to respect freedom of navigation and of overflight over the area, and to agree to special international jurisdiction and control over China’s artificial island-fortresses in the South China Sea.
Of course we know that US imperialism would want to have a foothold on the resources of the South China Sea, with or without the territorial dispute between China and the concerned ASEAN member countries. We demand that the USA and its allies in the area (Japan and Australia) stop their military patrols and overflights over the South China Sea. Further, we call on all parties to the various territorial claims over parts of the South China Sea to refrain from any action that could lead to the escalation of tensions, and to foreign military intervention, in the South China Sea.
Dear comrades :
The all-round offensive of imperialism cannot solve the capitalist crisis, and can only worsen it. The deepening or worsening of the systemic crisis of capitalism means the maturing and ripening of the objective conditions for the revolutionary advance to socialism, in the context of the present epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism ushered in by the Great October Socialist Revolution.
The working class, as the “grave-digger” of capitalism, has the power to reverse today’s situation and undertake the revolutionary advance to socialism. But for the working class to become conscious of its mission, and to shape a revolutionary strategy for the implacable class struggle against the bourgeoisie, the strengthening of its revolutionary party is necessary. The revolutionary party must be able to perform its role as vanguard of the working class struggle. This is the role that we as communist and workers' parties are trying to undertake in each of our countries, in uneven conditions set by historical experiences and subjective capabilities in the face of the actual balance of forces.
Even with the unevenness of capitalist development in different countries, the PKP-1930 stands for the international projection of the need to overthrow (and not to “reform”) capitalism, as the unifying platform for all progressive and left forces. The PKP-1930 also stands for the projection of the class nature of the international struggle against imperialism and reaction. Working class interests remain the basis for unity in the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggles in all parts of the world.
Dear comrades :
The Philippines is an example of capitalist unevenness and inequality, with the bourgeois state serving the interests of the monopolies. The national bourgeois class itself chooses the path of subordination to US, Japanese, Chinese and other monopoly interests, in order to have a part in the joint exploitation of our people and natural resources.
It is true that some oligarchs in our country have featured in large capital mergers of such diverse mega-businesses as banks, malls, power generation, telecommunications, call centers and infrastructures. Others have even grown to become members of international cartels and syndicates exporting capital to China, Spain, the ASEAN and some other countries. However, the imperialists and their local oligarchic partners have ensured the continuing low level and non-integrated nature of local industries, and even the absence of basic industries, such that there is not much to be socialized and immediately turned into independent or self-sustaining worker-controlled production enterprises --- aside from a few industries run by transnational corporations in the petroleum, cement, export-crop and a few other fields.
This reality prevents us from projecting socialism as our immediate aim. Also, given the unsolved land hunger of the peasants and of the more numerous agricultural workers, the growing number of squatters or “informal settlers” in urban areas, as well as the prevalence of micro-enterprises and informal trades, the immediate socialization of land and small businesses would only meet with resistance on the part of the poor masses that we aim to liberate.
Thus our immediate aim in the Philippines is national democracy --- for national freedom from imperialist control and exploitation, for a mixed economy with a socialist-oriented public sector setting the direction for development planning, and for a democratic system where the machinery of state could ensure that the working peoples’ rights are safeguarded and their basic needs progressively met. The PKP-1930 maintains that this can only be achieved through the organized strength of the Filipino working masses themselves, in unity with a national leadership that is aware of the historic need to re-nationalize utilities and infrastructures, and to build a strong public sector in order to attain economic independence and social progress.
In the particular situation of the capitalist crises engulfing our country today, our most pressing concerns in the economic field are the following : ending the privatization of public services ; re-nationalization of the privatized electric, water, petroleum and other strategic utilities and infrastructures ; establishment of a strong state sector of the economy ; ending the policy of import liberalization which has allowed the dumping into our country of commodities by transnational corporations ; ensuring transparency and accountability in government dealings with imperialist-controlled multilateral institutions and banking groups ; and the thorough audit of all the foreign loans secured by the past regimes (with the aim of repudiating all onerous loans which benefitted only the partnership of foreign banksters and local kleptocrats).
On the political front, our most pressing concerns are the following : removal of governmental measures preventing or limiting the participation of progressive parties in electoral exercises ; ending of warlordism and political dynasties ; empowerment ofprogressive mass organizations through their participation in advisory councils (of national agencies and local governments) concerned with the sectors represented by such mass organizations ; and the elimination of graft and corruption in all branches of government (executive, legislative, juridiciary and special constitutional bodies).
On the social front, of urgent concern are the following : opening of more jobs through the government’s direct undertaking of all its infrastructure projects ; setting of a nationwide minimum living wage ; safeguarding and advancement of workers’ benefits and social security ; defense of trade union rights ; extension of agrarian reform (primarily land acquisition by the government, and their redistribution to landless peasants or their cooperatives) in all crops and agricultural fields ; expansion of public schools, universities, hospitals, day-care centers and homes for the aged ; and the massive opening of housing projects to allow the relocation of present residents in typhoon- or flood-prone waterways, earthquake fault-lines and other calamity-prone areas.
On the cultural front, of particular concern are the ending of local mass media reliance on US and other imperialist news agencies and entertainment industries ; control of fundamentalism or bigotry engendered by religious institutions ; safeguarding of education from anti-science teachings and superstitious rituals ; and the development of a more tolerant or liberal atmosphere for the battle of ideas where the merits of socialism, and concepts of the national democratic path towards socialism, will surely win more adherents.
Our main thrust in our national anti-imperialist struggle is the ending of the “Visiting Forces Agreement”, the “Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement”, and the “Mutual Defense Treaty”, under which the USA practically controls the national security and other military policies of our country.
Our party’s main national task is to unite the broad patriotic sectors of our people to struggle for national democracy, and to strengthen the struggle of the working class against capitalist exploitation, without losing sight of the aim of building socialism in the Philippines through the national-democratic path. While capitalism is rooted on the “freedom” of a few to amass private profit to the detriment of the many, a new socialist order --- with social ownership and centralized planning under working-class political power --- will always be centered on human welfare.
Our party’s tasks of educating, organizing and mobilizing the working masses into political action in defense of society’s collective interests will always be geared towards the attainment of national democracy and eventually socialism in the Philippines. This of course will be a struggle to wrest the power, wealth and privilege that the oligarchy and their imperialist masters will never surrender for the sake of the good of society’s greater majority.
The anti-imperialist struggle in the Philippines is intertwined with the anti-imperialist struggles in other countries. Our different national struggles give strength to each other, and thus the issue of anti-imperialist solidarity is more crucial than ever. Continuous adherence to the principles of Marxism-Leninism, particularly the principle of proletarian internationalism, is of great importance in our present jointstruggles against capitalist exploitation and imperialist aggressions everywhere --- towards the building of socialist societies in all countries.
The PKP-1930 remains convinced that the worldwide struggle of the working peoples for socialism will triumph over imperialism, and that the building of socialism remains the only hope for humanity’s survival and humane future. This is something that we have learned not only from the recent history of the former USSR and the former socialist community, but also from the continuing revolutionary example of socialist Cuba and the other socialist-oriented countries in Latin America and elsewhere. Vietnam's continued development of the socialist path, even while utilizing market mechanisms to supplement the state sector's capacity for national development, is further proof of this general law of mankind’s advancement towards socialism.
In closing, please allow me to say that our delegation is honoured to be here with the valiant people of Viet Nam which has a glorious history of victoriously struggling against French colonialism, Japanese militarism, French colonialism again, US imperialism and then Chinese hegemonism. It is an honor to be here in the herocity of Ha Noi which the US imperialists tried to bomb back to the stone age, but which fought off the diabolical forces of imperialism with the all-round internationalist support of the then socialist community led by the land of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
Viet Nam has shown the world that a united people can defeat the most powerful foreign aggressors. Viet Nam will always be thanked and admired for itself extending internationalist solidarity which saved the Cambodian people from maoist barbarism. And despite the continuing toll wrought by “Agent Orange” and other wicked legacies of the US war of aggression, we are happy to see that the benefits of freedom and independence, and of the socialist system, ensure the continued building of a country which periodically becomes many times more beautiful. We salute and wish every success to the Communist Party of Viet Nam, the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and the revolutionary people of Viet Nam who are the proud inheritors of a valiant and victorious history of anti-imperialist struggle, internationalist solidarity, socialist construction and world peace promotion.
Thank you for your kind attention.